Wildflowers of Chimney Rock

                             (22 plants)

At the tip of Point Reyes, Chimney Rock looks down on the Pacific Ocean.
How to find your plant
At the western tip of Point Reyes, Chimney Rock is just south of the lighthouse, and stands above ocean views to the horizon. It's often windy and foggy, and provides a rich habitat for native wildflowers.

Google Maps link to Chimney Rock

Thanks to Amelia Ryan for this list.

California Poppy
Eschscholzia californica
  • Blooms Feb - Sep
  • 4 large petals are orange (inland form) to yellow (coastal form)
  • A flat disk (torus) at the base of the petals is distinctive.
  • Widely distributed and quite common in grassy areas.
  • CA native, and the state flower

Note the low grey leaves, and yellow flowers with orange centers of this coastal variety.

California Buttercup
Ranunculus californicus
  • Blooms Feb - May
  • Bright yellow flower, up to 1 inch wide, has 7 to 22 shiny petals.
  • Single flower at the top of a stem, which can be short or long.
  • No leaves along the stem, but basal leaves are divided into several lobed parts.
  • CA native

Flower has many shiny, yellow petals.

Some individual petals can be white. The center is often green, surrounded by many stamens.

Basal leaves have a stem, with divided sets of indented leaves.
Blue-Eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium bellum
  • Blooms Mar - May
  • A member of the Iris family.
  • Tubular flower has a bright yellow center and darker purple lines extending outward, making a great target for pollinators.
  • Grasslike leaves.
  • CA native. Found only in western North America.

Blue to violet petals and a golden yellow center, to guide pollinators in.

Leaves are long and thin, with parallel veins.

Seed develops below the flower.
Cow Parsnip
Heracleum maximum
  • Blooms Jun - Jul
  • White flower heads look like a flat-topped umbrella
  • Individual tiny flowers are grouped in little balls
  • Very large leaves
  • Flowers turn to sunflower-like seeds in August
  • CA native

Cow Parsnip stands out because of its size and bright white flowers.

Cow parsnip grows to 6 feet or more.

Big leaves, up to 12" across. Also hollow stems.
Douglas Iris
Iris douglasiana
  • Common. Open hills and wooded areas.
  • Flower petals in 3s.
  • Cream to purple color.
  • Leaves narrow and long, with parallel veins.
  • Leaf underside paler than top.
  • California native.

This coastal variety is blue or purple. Inland varieties can be white to pastel lilac.

Leaves are narrow and long, with parallel veins. They're glossy on the top, and paler underneath.

Iris can grow in dense patches in Point Reyes grasslands.
Wild Cucumber
Marah fabacea
  • Blooms Mar - Apr
  • A vine, often climbing 15 or 20 feet high, with curlycue tendrils for gripping.
  • The root, shaped like a huge carrow, can be 5 feet long and weigh many pounds.
  • Found in shrubby areas with some moisture.
  • CA native

A vine with many small white flowers, 5 or 6 petals.

Many tendrils off the stem make it a great climber.

Fruit is large, about 2 inches across, with spines.
Achillea millefolium
  • Blooms Apr - Aug
  • White flowers in flat heads.
  • Finely divided leaves. Crush them in your fingers to get a nice smell.
  • Found in meadows.
  • CA native

Finely divided leaves - smell great when crushed.

3 to 8 white petals (disk flowers) and several more tiny flowers in the center.

Flat clustersof white flower heads.
Varied Lupine
Lupinus variicolor
  • Blooms Apr - Jul
  • Stem and leaves are hairy.
  • Stem is woody, with a taproot, often lying along the ground.
  • Found on dunes and coastal prairie.
  • CA native. Grows only in California.

Leaves are silvery green, in finger shapes.

Dense flower head, fairly low to the ground.

Closeup shows the beautiful variation in color.
Seaside Daisy
Erigeron glaucus
  • Blooms May - July
  • Grasslands and brushy slopes near the coast.
  • Brown flower color.
  • Grows low to the ground.
  • Puckered, spiny leaves on the ground.
  • Found only in CA

Narrow Leaf Mule Ears
Wyethia angustifolia
  • Blooms Mar - Jul
  • Large yellow flowers, many petals. Generally one flower per stem.
  • Fuzzy phillaries below the flower.
  • Long, fairly narrow flower stems.
  • CA native

A large flower, several inches across, with many bright yellow petals. Brown and yellow center.

Leaf-like structures under the flower (phyllaries are soft and hairy.

Narrow leaves at the base of this plant.
California Phacelia
Phacelia californica
  • Blooms Mar - Aug
  • Many small lavender flowers with long stamens, bunched tightly at the end of stems.
  • Deeply veined, soft fuzzy leaves.
  • Found in central and northern CA.
  • CA native

5 lavender petals. Long stamens. Flowers tightly bunched.

Leaves fuzzy, strongly veined, with smooth edges.

Flower heads are fuzzy. Each flower on a short stem (pedicel) off the head.
Meadow Chickweed
Cerastium arvense
  • Blooms Apr - Jun
  • 5 white petals are so deeply divided they almost look like 10.
  • Leaves opposite and attach to the stem.
  • Common. Found in moist areas.
  • CA native

5 deeply divided white petals.with yellow-green center.

Small flower, often grows in groups.

Leaves opposite, attach directly to the stem.
Beach Strawberry
Fragaria chiloensis
  • Blooms Feb - Mar
  • White flower with many yellow stamens.
  • Shiny, leathery leaves in 3s. Densly hairy below.
  • Strawberries carry their seeds outside the fruit!
  • Found in sandy places along the coast.
  • CA native

5-part white flower. 3-part leaves.

Grows prostrate - low to the ground.

Small strawberries.
Coast Wallflower
Erysimum concinnum
  • Blooms Mar - May
  • 4 white petals and long seeds make it a member of the Mustard Family.
  • Unusal. Found along the coast of Northern California.
  • CA native. Rarely found outside California.

Four white petals around a green center.

Here, lower flowers have finished blooming and have gone to seed (long skinny things). Upper flowers are blooming.

Leaves are dark green, mostly at the base.
San Francisco Owl's Clover
Triphysaria floribunda
  • Blooms Apr to Jun
  • White to yellow flowers in a cluster at the top of a 1 foot stem.
  • Stem thickly covered with thin leaves.
  • CA native

Flower has a greenish upper petal and 3 yellow or white pouches below.

Stem thickly covered with thin leaves.

Flowers in a cluster at the top of a 1 foot stem.
Butter And Eggs
Triphysaria eriantha ssp. rosea
  • Blooms Feb - Apr
  • Flowers in spikes.
  • Bottom 3 petals are pouches, and can be white or yellow.
  • Leaves and stem can be green or purple.
  • CA native

Leaves and stem often turn purple.

Flower has an upper lip, and a three-part lower lip.

Deeply lobed leaves.
Cream Cups
Platystemon californicus
  • Blooms Feb - May
  • A poppy flower, with 4 to 6 petals at the top of long stems.
  • Petals are cream and yellow, often showing both colors at once.
  • Leaves are long, thin, and opposite.
  • Disturbed areas to 3,000 feet.
  • CA native

Yellow petals, often showing white at the tips and/or in the center.

Many long stamens.

Single flower on the top of stems that can reach 2 feet. Leaves are narrow, and near the base of the stem.
Brownie Thistle
Cirsium quercetorum
  • Blooms May - July
  • Grasslands and brushy slopes near the coast.
  • Brown flower color.
  • Grows low to the ground.
  • Puckered, spiny leaves on the ground.
  • Found only in CA

Brown flower color.

Leaves puckered, with long spines

Grows low to the ground.
Dog Violet
Viola adunca
  • Blooms Apr - Aug
  • Purple violet-shaped flower.
  • Low to the ground with spade or heart shaped leaves.
  • Found in meadows and forests through North America.
  • CA native

Nodding flower with violet-shaped purple petals.

Lower petal has white base and purple veining. Side petals have white hairs near the center.

Leaves spade or heart shaped.
Tolmie Star Tulip
Calochortus tolmiei
  • Blooms Apr - Jul
  • Dramatic white fuzzy flower on top of a 1 foot stem.
  • One large basal leaf, and often some smaller leaves on the stem.
  • CA native

White flower in 3s. A member of the Lily family.

Flower is usually very hairy.

Basal leaf can over a foot long.
Baby Blue Eyes
Nemophila menziesii var. atomaria
  • Blooms Mar - Jun
  • Petals are decorated with black dots and lines.
  • This coastal variety has white petals, instead of blue.
  • Grows along the coast from central California to Oregon.
  • CA native

Often grows in patches. This coastal variety is white instead of blue.

A delecate white flower with black dots and lines decorating the petals.

Grows low to the ground. Leaves are opposite, and have divided toothed leaflets.
Wight's Indian Paint Brush
Castilleja affinis ssp. affinis
  • Blooms in June
  • Red and yellow paintbrush.
  • Leaves along stem, thinly divided.
  • Stems and leaves generally hariy.
  • Widespread on hills.
  • CA native.

Yellow flowers stick out of red floral coverings (bracts and sepals).

Point Reyes form often shows purple.

Grows to about 2 feet.